'I can't afford to divorce a murderer'

NEIL REID
Last updated 05:00 15/07/2011
GUILTY: Malcolm Webster, leaving Glasgow High Court at the start of his trial.
JAMES GALLOWAY/The Herald
COSTLY MARRIAGE: Felicity Drumm, the wife of murderer Malcolm Webster, claims she does not have enough money to divorce him.
Malcolm Webster and Claire Morris
FIRST MARRIAGE: Malcolm Webster and Claire Morris, who died in 1994.

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Wife-killer Malcolm Webster has left his New Zealand bride penniless, with Felicity Drumm revealing she can't even afford to divorce him.

Earlier this month a Scottish judge handed Webster a minimum 30-year jail sentence for the 1994 murder of his first wife, Claire Morris, in England and the attempted murder of Drumm in Auckland five years later.

Yesterday lawyer John McLeod confirmed he was set to lodge an appeal on the instructions of the 52-year-old British man.

Speaking to Stuff, Drumm said: ''I don't wish to make any comment about the appeal until I have a clearer understanding about what basis there is within Scottish law for him to make any kind of appeal.''

Prior to the development, Drumm revealed that not only had her husband almost taken her life, he had also left her broke.

''Malcolm left me with nothing. I simply can't afford to divorce him,'' she told a UK newspaper.

''I have had to start my life from scratch again. I just don't have the money to pay legal fees and costs to divorce him.

''Malcolm has always been like that with money. Whenever he gets it, it's gone. That's why he has moved on to different women.''

Webster's crimes were committed as part of a plot to claim almost $1 million in life insurance money.

Prosecutor Derek Ogg, QC, told the jury prior to sentencing Webster was one of Scotland's most notorious murderers.

One of Webster's legal team, Edgar Prais, QC, insisted he was innocent of the charges but admitted he was a thief, ''a liar, a philanderer and a ratbag''.

Drumm says prosecutors had not been able to recover any of the cash he had stolen from her.

She adds that the Webster family has made no attempt to contact her following the court case.

''I've had no word from him or his family,'' she says.

''I thought his siblings may have written to apologise for being so hideous to me over the years, but no.''

Following Webster's sentencing, Drumm said in a statement that she was delighted at the length of the prison term handed to the killer.

''After many years of thinking Malcolm may escape justice for taking Claire Morris' life together with his offending against me, the guilty verdict and sentence are hugely validating and serve to bring closure to this chapter in my life."

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''My family and I are most appreciative of the commitment and hard work demonstrated by both the New Zealand and the Grampian police who together with the Scottish procurator fiscal's office helped bring this case to trial.''

Meanwhile, the Daily Record newspaper in Scotland has reported that Webster has befriended fellow ''ladykiller'' Raymond Cartwright in Scotland's Barlinnie Prison.

Cartwright was jailed in June for 17 years for fatally stabbing his girlfriend.

The paper also claimed Webster was so concerned that he would be targeted for jail-house retribution that he was too afraid to use the prison's shower block.

''He knows a lot of people are gunning for him,'' it quoted a prisoner as saying.

''Webster's terrified to have a shower. It's the one place he's unprotected by the screws.

''You can smell him before you see him. The guys next to his cell have complained to staff about it.''

- Stuff

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